SPOIL ALERT: The story includes details of the Season 17 finale of Grey’s Anatomy.
In a typical Grey’s Anatomy twist, when Meredith was released in episode 15 after months of battling Covid, she did not receive the applause all survivors receive upon leaving the hospital. She had planned a big one. But while all of her colleagues were in front waiting for her to come out, she crept in from the back, aided by Jackson.
Instead, Meredith received a round of applause at the end of the Season 17 finale when she and Teddy achieved a double lung transplant operation during Meredith’s triumphant return to the OR – and at the top of her game.
Meg Marinis, who co-wrote the season finale with Andy Reaser, explained the decision to have the applause in the finale, not Season 15 as they originally planned.
“We originally wrote that Meredith applauded as she was released from the hospital in episode 1715,” she said. “But we quickly realized that this moment seemed like the end of the season, so we had the brilliant idea of Meredith escaping her own applause, which we felt was very Meredith Gray. So many people had struggled with Covid, and she didn’t want to feel different from the rest. So we decided to remove Meredith from the operating room instead, which seemed like the ultimate victory of her trip this season. This photo of Meredith, in the hallway of the operating room, surrounded by her people, laughing and smiling in her scrub cap… It gives me all the sensations. It gives me hope after such a difficult year.